By Peter Duru
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has attributed the exclusion of Benue from the list of 24 states published by the United Kingdom government facing the prospect of terror attacks to the grazing law, which has restrained movement of armed herdsmen into the state and largely restored peace in the various communities.
He urged the Federal Government to emulate the Benue example by outlawing open grazing and embrace ranching to check the influx of armed herdsmen from other parts of Africa, who engage in banditry and kidnappings and constitute themselves into security threat to the collective wellbeing of Nigerians.
Ortom, who spoke, yesterday, in Makurdi when he received the report of the Dr Iyorchia Ayu-led Transition Committee, said the people of the state were enjoying relative peace because the grazing law was in place and security personnel were doing their best to ensure that there was no breach of the peace.
He said: “When I checked the states listed by the UK government that could face terror attacks and I did not see Benue State, I gave God all the praise because it was God and not a man that did it. We are currently enjoying peace in Benue State because the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment law is in place.
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“The grazing law has brought relative peace here. We no longer see those large herds and herders we see in those days, who comb our communities destroying farms and killing the people who dared to cry out.
“But we must also commend security personnel who have given their all to ensure that we have peace. And I will continue to challenge anyone with a better idea on how to end this herdsmen crisis other than prohibiting open grazing as being practised the world over to bring it to the table to help us solve the problem.
“So it is high time we embraced ranching to end the influx of foreign or unknown herders into our communities and country to end these herdsmen killings, banditry and kidnappings in the country.”